90-year-old resident begins a new chapter
Local author Lois Jeavons grew up in Shaker Heights during an era one often thinks about while driving down the tree-lined roads of our local communities. Having lived much of her life in Northeast Ohio, she has insight into a period of history in which this region experienced some of its lowest lows and highest highs.
A graduate of Hathaway Brown, Jeavons left the Heights for Smith College, where she studied English and creative writing under Mary Ellen Chase, a well-known New England author.
Thereafter, her life took a more traditional path of doting mother and supportive wife. But her love of writing never waned and, in later years, she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she reconnected with the novel she had started years before and began to flesh it out.
Celebrating the novel’s completion and her 90th year, Jeavons introduced her book, Manners, Morals and Myths, to family and friends. In this historical novel, readers meet the people who populated the ballrooms and exclusive clubs of early 20th-century Cleveland—those who founded and supported the city’s rich and vibrant cultural life.
Some of them were not as upstanding as they pretended to be. Nonetheless, they provided Cleveland with museums, hospitals, universities and a world-class orchestra. Set in one of America’s most beautiful suburbs, the novel takes the reader into a gracious, white-gloved bygone time. For many, it will revive old romantic memories. Others will catch a glimpse of a world they will never know.
Jeavons took 25 years to complete her book, delayed by personal challenges over the years. After the death of her husband, she found writing to be a solace and a welcome distraction and she persevered until she finished her novel. In response to requests from many of her readers, Jeavons is currently working on a sequel.
Everyone has fascinating stories to tell, and Jeavons recommends writing as a way to activate brain cells and remain alert as we age. Recalling these stories and organizing them into readable form can be energizing for aging minds. She urges seniors to hone their writing skills in creative writing workshops whenever possible.
Jeavons currently lives with her grandchildren in University Heights for half the year, and with her daughter in California for the remainder of the year.
Paperback and digital copies of Manners, Morals and Myths can be purchased through her website, www.loisjeavons.com, through online retailers, and by request from Mac’s Backs on Coventry Road.
Brady Dindia, a nine-year resident of University Heights, is Jeavons' granddaughter, and the layout and cover designer of Jeavons' novel.